Fintan O’Toole, We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland (2022)

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jserraglio
Posts: 9332
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Fintan O’Toole, We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland (2022)

Post by jserraglio » Sat Apr 23, 2022 9:20 am

Just got it out from the library. Am keen to read it. I did not know that the Irish Free State had remained neutral in the Second World War. The hatred of England apparently ran deep.

"Like reading a great tragicomic Irish novel, rich in memoir and record, calamity and critique. The book contains funny and terrible things, details and episodes so pungent that they must surely have been stolen from a fantastical artificer like Flann O’Brien . . . [O’Toole] beautifully tells the private story of his childhood and youth . . . His great gift is his extremely intelligent, mortally relentless critical examination, and here he studies nothing less than the past and the present of his own nation . . . James Joyce’s Stephen Dedalus promised to forge in the smithy of his soul the uncreated conscience of his race; less Parnassian than Dedalus but just as angry as Joyce, O’Toole tells the story of how his race, at last breaking the fetters of religion and superstition, created its own conscience."
― James Wood, The New Yorker

jserraglio
Posts: 9332
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Fintan O’Toole, We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland (2022)

Post by jserraglio » Tue May 10, 2022 3:02 pm

Almost finished. This is the best book on Ireland, outside of Joyce’s novels and O’Casey’s plays, I have ever read.

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